London's best cupcakes

Here's our guide to the bakeries, cafés, tea rooms and coffee shops baking London's best cupcakes

The combination of sweet icing and fluffy sponge in an irresistibly cute package is our tea-time treat of choice. Delve into our delectable guide to London's best cupcake shops and cafés.

Bake-a-boo

Proudly kitsch tea room and ‘party parlour’ serving dainty cakes, biscuits, and fizz. Gluten-free options and hen party packages are available

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Outer London

Bea's of Bloomsbury

Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a mini-chain of cafés, with branches in Watling Street near St Paul's and Cowcross Street in Farringdon. But this original in Bloomsbury is the best, not least because it’s the source of all those spectacular gateaux and special occasion cakes – the busy, and sometimes noisy, kitchen and bakery occupies the rear half of the long and narrow space. Choose your seat in the long corridor facing the counter carefully, as the tables nearest the front bear the brunt of the constant bustle of takeaway customers; further back the room’s only slightly cosier. 

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Holborn

Hummingbird Bakery

The Soho branch of this successful mini-chain is a busy spot; there are also branches in Notting Hill, South Ken, Spitalfields and Islington. Most customers come here for the colourful frosted cupcakes, which are displayed in long glass cabinets, alongside whoopee pies, tiered American cakes and varieties of brownies. Raspberry cheesecake brownie has to be the most indulgent version – a dense chocolate brownie base topped with a baked cream cheese layer and finished off with whipped raspberry cream – delicious.

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Soho

Violet Cakes

Cupcakes have been popping up all over since Carrie and the girls Manolo-ed their way into Magnolia Bakery, NYC. For a few years, and in ever-growing numbers, Londoners don’t seem to be able to get enough of these little bites of nostalgia. The proprietor of Violet Cakes, Claire Ptak, worked for three years as a pastry cook for Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, the restaurant largely credited as the most influential in the Californian gastronomy movement.

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Dalston
See our guide to London's best cafés and coffee shops

Comments

113 comments
James G
James G

This is surely one of the most inaccurate and poorly researched articles I have seen in Time Out. There are companies that are working incredibly hard to create a genuinely brilliant product, and to have some half baked (yup I did it) PR backed stunt knock them back in favor of mass produced, dull and fault filled cakes, is very disappointing.  I know that companies mentioned here have questionable practices when producing cakes that compromise their quality. Recent buy-outs have led to falls in standards and corner cutting is very obvious when making such a delicate product. Other companies, not featured here, produce cakes without freezing the sponges after mass production runs, use very high quality ingredients and have an excellent brand to boot. Also,  this is clearly just a re-print (again lazy) as comments left are from 2013 when the article above says printed in 2015...

Kimberly S
Kimberly S

Crumbs & Doilies cupcakes, coffee, and cakes are wonderful and not too sweet.  Jemma, the owner, has 250,000 following her on YouTube, where she makes it look easy to make different flavours and seasonal cupcakes with great artistry, such as ghosts and bandaged mummies for Halloween.  Their lovely new shop is near Carnaby Street: 1 Kingley Court, W1B 5PW.